K-12

McDonald’s and McGuffey

Education | An ethics-burger is what’s missing from today’s education menu
by Joel Belz
Posted 10/11/18, 02:48 pm

I’ve raised the issue before in this space, but the continued collapse of our culture suggests it’s appropriate to mention it again.

Imagine for a few minutes, if you will, that you’re the manager of a local McDonald’s restaurant. For the third straight day, as you seek to reconcile your registers, your cash record is off. But now, as you reflect on what might be happening, and think about the various members of your youthful staff, you puzzle over a strange pair of possible explanations. Are you dealing with computational incompetence—or with day-to-day dishonesty?

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Thomas Barwick/Stone/Getty Images

Reality check

Education | Education often fosters too big a gap between theory and practice
by Joel Belz
Posted 9/27/18, 10:22 am

“We’ll prepare you for life,” the colorful school brochure assured me, “the way it really is.”

It has become an educational shibboleth: “We’re here,” schools at every level claim, “to get you ready for the real world.”

But do they? If that’s a significant measure of a school’s success, a painful list of them deserve failing grades. For what many schools—both public and private—have to offer these days is an incredible distance from life the way most of us really live it.

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Savushkin/iStock

Newsies in the making

Education | Seventh-graders read an actual print newspaper, and a New Yorker pretends to be a British royalty expert on TV
by Emily Belz
Posted 6/06/18, 12:11 pm

A Connecticut middle-school moment:

On a reporting trip in Connecticut last week for a forthcoming story, I spent a morning in a seventh-grade classroom. The students were diligently finishing up a worksheet on a book they were reading together. Once they turned in their sheets, the teacher set aside time for them to read the local newspaper—the print edition! The teacher has them regularly write reports on newspaper articles.

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